If you are preparing for neck surgery, I am hoping that I can help you with what you will REALLY need to help you transition from hospital to home. I read plenty of lists before my ACDF Surgery (well mine was actually a ACCF – Anterior Cervical Corpectomy & Fusion), in hopes of making my life simpler post-surgery, but I found that not all were necessary (for me at least).
Before I left for the hospital, I packed all kinds of things: iPhone, iPod, iPad, earbuds, ear plugs, razor, a book, mascara, cough drops and so much more.
What I actually used in the hospital: iPhone and ear plugs. I was doing well to even focus on visitors, and could barely even see my phone to use it!
What I couldn’t live without at home after surgery:
I had also prepared my home for things I would need after surgery. All of these below, I use on a daily basis.
Set of down pillows – these have become my favorite pillows, as I can squish and form them however I want.
Bendy straws – buy a huge bag of these – you will need them!
Ear plugs – because there is lots of noise at home! My hubby actually bought this brand for me, and I love them! They aren’t as big as some ear plugs, and since it’s a little tricky even putting them in after surgery, you will need ear plugs that are easy to use.
Pull-on shirts – These are SO important, as you shouldn’t lift your arms over your head after surgery. I looked at Target in the Juniors section and found cute little sleeveless sundresses/jumpers/tops. They are the kind that have elastic and fit easily under your arms. You can slip them on over your legs and pull up. Since this was the Juniors section where I found them, and I am obviously not the size of a Junior, I just bought XXL. I had a friend of mine cut off the excess and hem them how I like them, so I could wear them as shirts. Not only are they easy to get on, but they are super comfortable! The other thing we did was go to a fabric store and purchase several types. She measured the length, then doubled the fabric (so they wouldn’t be see-through) and added elastic at the top. We made our own pull-up tops!
*Please note: Some of the below items contain affiliate links.
Grabbers – I purchased two, one for upstairs and one for downstairs. These are definitely important – and very inexpensive!
Extra pads for neck collar/brace – When you go for your collar fitting, ask for extra pads at that time. You will be changing them often, as your neck will get hot and sweaty (ick). I really wish I had 2 extra sets, especially the chin pad, but of course you can only purchase the full set of replacement pads.
Dry Shampoo – just trust me on this.
Large Plastic Bowl – my daughter has been helping me shave my legs (bless her heart), so I sit on the toilet with the lid down, we place the bucket full of water below and she shaves my legs. You may not want to use one of your good bowls for this, which is why I suggest buying one especially for this purpose.
DIY Fabric Liners for neck collar pads – it is HOT right now where I live (over 100 degrees!), and my neck sweats profusely thanks to this collar. I had my friend cut out some fabric shapes approximately the same size as my chin pad. We made a bunch yesterday, actually, and I have used them so much. When I am in between changing pads for my collar, I just slip one of these fabric pieces over my chin strap. It feels so good to have dry cloth there, and will reduce the chances of a heat rash. I HIGHLY recommend doing this! While you are at it, cut a few square or triangle shapes that you can tuck under the chest piece. My chest gets so itchy where the trachea piece hits. Adding a piece of clean fabric here is such a relief. All of these fabric pieces can be rinsed in cold (or hot) water and squeezed, then left to dry.
Non-slip bootie socks – I just ordered more in fact, as we have hardwood floors throughout the bottom level. I had one pair already, and the ones from the hospital, but these were really baggy and just plain annoying. Here are the ones I just ordered (affiliate link):
Things I bought but wish I hadn’t:
Wedge cushion set – I envisioned myself lounging on my bed in this, but I just can’t get comfortable in it. It would be great for people who didn’t have neck surgery though, and my daughter is awaiting the go-ahead to steal this from me 🙂